National education organization deploys young AmeriCorps members to low-performing schools

Boston, MA (November 5, 2012) – University of Michigan alumni want to give back. So says City Year, a national organization that unites young people for a year of full-time service in high-need urban schools, whose 2,500 corps members this year include 28 Wolverine graduates. Michigan ranks fourth among the top 10 “feeder” schools for City Year’s 2012-2013 corps. City Year AmeriCorps members serve full-time in schools as tutors, mentors and role models to keep students in school and on track to succeed.

“This is a natural next step for students committed to social justice, community involvement and empowerment and a wonderful opportunity to make a difference at a grass-roots level,” said Lynne Sebille-White, senior assistant director of employer relations at the University’s career center. “This type of experience can help expand and enhance one’s understanding of social issues, encouraging continued responsible citizenship.”

The University of Michigan is the only Michigan school among City Year’s top ten feeder schools. University of California-Riverside contributed the most corps members to this year’s corps, with 35. During the 2012-2013 school year, the City Year corps members currently serve 150,000 students in 238 schools, located in 24 U.S. cities.

“I chose to serve with City Year, because I had a strong desire to do meaningful service in Detroit. I really wanted to partner with an organization that was making a real difference in the lives of children, and City Year is doing just that,” said April Newberry, a Michigan alumna and City Year Detroit team leader.

April added that Life After City Year (LACY), the organization’s career development program, has given her and fellow corps members much-needed guidance. “City Year is very intentional about setting up its corps members with a LACY plan, which is the perfect extra push that most of us need to evaluate what we hope to do with our future and make active steps towards those goals,” she said.

“It’s a thrill to be led by our 101 incredibly inspiring City Year Detroit corps members, many of whom are graduates of the University of Michigan,” said Penny Bailer the executive director of City Year Detroit. “We are so proud that U of M – one of the top five City Year recruitment sources in in nation – is right here in our own back yard.”

Of the 2,500 people in City Year’s 2012-2013 corps, 57 percent of City Year corps members are people of color, including 18 percent who identify as Latino and 30 percent who identify as African American. Eighty percent are college graduates and 42 percent were eligible to receive Pell Grants.

City Year is an education-focused nonprofit organization that partners with public schools to provide full-time targeted intervention for students most at risk of dropping out.  In more than 20 communities across the United States and through two international affiliates, teams of young City Year AmeriCorps members support students by focusing on attendance, behavior, and course performance through in-class tutoring, mentoring, and after school programs that keep kids in school and on track to succeed. Learn more at http://www.cityyear.org

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